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In the age of Soundcloud and Spotify it can be hard to keep track of new releases, so you might not have noticed all the incredible releases coming out of Dunedin recently, writes Fraser Thompson.
Methchrist/Self Harm split
This is Dunedin's only bestial black metal band's second album, a split with Australian black metal band Self Harm, and it's relentless. They deliver track after filthy track crammed full of groovy breakdowns, desolate riffs and inhuman utterings.
The self-produced recording utilised microphones from the PlayStation2 game Singstar and it really works in its favour. Guitarist and vocalist Ollie described the snare sound as "a corpse's head being smashed on a wall". That's very accurate.
Favourite track: Sodomy of the Divine Rite
Graham Matrix VS The Entire Galactic Chaos Empire
When I interviewed Sheep in March the lead singer described their style as "loud, pretty basic pop songs with heaps of distortion and a whack-as synthesizer as our main bass" and this album delivers on that promise.
Graham Matrix VS The Entire Galactic Chaos Empire is a concept album about Graham Matrix's fight against the evil galactic forces who want to take away his benny. Throughout it's six tracks it delivers thrilling amounts of raucous energy. The magnitude of its noise is heavy almost to the point of being claustrophobic.
Enter the Graham matrix if you dare.
Favourite track: Valhalla
Nic & Reuben
Let's not beat around the bush, it's got globbs of chorus-drenched guitar and slapback reverb, this one's post-demarco.
But that doesn't have to be a slur. Having two vocalists adds enough spice to set it apart from other similar releases, and the songs are catchy and tightly written, so the chilled bouncy vibes don't overstay their welcome. I found myself coming back to it for the strangely addictive atmosphere it creates.
One of the vocalists sounds strikingly like Damon Albarn, which is a bonus.
Favourite track: Late Night Jazz Club
This one surprised me. It sounds really unpolished, and that's what I like about it: It's raw, an unbridled creative vision.
He creates spooky, surreal worlds which seem to never end up where you expect them to. For example, in Bus Stop Trip Time, the vocalist's recounting of an experience at a bus stop is drowned out by his self-hating inner dialogue questioning the validity of the story he's telling. It's refreshingly honest, and oddly familiar.
Musically, I guess it'd be something like industrial dance-punk, but other than that I don't know what it is - and I like that.
Favourite track: A Mermaid Falling Into A Blackhole.
Neive Strang's incredible voice and songwriting ability is there for all to see on her debut EP. She's also the singer in Dunedin high school band Painted Blind, and the title track, Expectations, has been in my head since I first heard it at one of the Amped Project gigs earlier this year.
The production is beautiful, made all the more impressive by the fact that she recorded and mastered it herself.
Favourite track: Expectations